Everything I Knew About Reading Was Wrong

Ironically this essay (is it an essay even?) is a capsule of what makes it hard for me to want to spend time reading. Time is my most valuable commodity and I’ve spent a lot of it reading bad books and bad articles. This article in particular reads like an extended plug for Naval Ravikant disguised as some life changing enlightenment about the act of reading. Additionally there is no real discussion about WHAT to read and the article is heavily focused on reading non-fiction.

I’m gonna blow you mind here Johnny so you better sit down: Non-fiction is by and large a terrible way to learn anything useful. Non-fiction is chock full of information, which may or may not turn out to be facts in the long run, with zero context in how to apply that knowledge in a meaningful way. I spent decades reading non-fiction until I realized that not only did I have a head full of facts and no where to go with them, but that not all of those facts even agreed with each other.

So I’m gonna finish up with this: Everything you know about reading is from Naval Ravikant and that might still be wrong. Stories, not opinions masquerading as facts, are the foundation upon which your humanity is built. Try reading some good science fiction or even a trashy fantasy novel. It’ll teach you a lot more about being a person than the next big wave of neuroscience or biohacking innovations will.